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Story by:  Spc. Amie J. McMillan

BAGHDAD – The recent arrival of three Bell T-407 training helicopters at Camp Taji will help to train qualified Iraqi Army pilots to operate and maintain the helicopters, as well as, rapidly accelerate the fielding and utilization of Iraqi Armed 407 Armed Scout Helicopters which are scheduled to be fielded by the end of 2011.

For the majority of helicopter flight schools, their honest efforts to meet students’ goals of attaining FAA Certificates at various levels are based on the principles of Maneuvers Based Training (MBT). This system was developed during the era of the Wright Brothers, specific to airplanes, and teaches a pilot to “fly” to a Practical Test Standard (PTS) defined by the FAA. Although pilots who learn to fly through MBT can  “fly” the helicopter within the parameters for which they are trained, it is no doubt an antiquated training model by modern day standards.

Need Money To Fly?

In aviation today, it is financially difficult to fund advancement in the helicopter industry.  However, there are opportunities out there.  These opportunities can be found through the Whirly-Girls Organization.  The Whirly-Girls Organization is a non-profit organization of International Female Helicopter Pilots.  The organization is a charitable organization that is dedicated to advancing women in helicopter aviation through the industry’s largest pool of annual scholarships, while providing women helicopter pilots a forum for the exchange of information and opportunities. Each year, the Whirly-Girls Organization attends the HAI conference and awards these scholarships.

After the cowardly attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, law enforcements roles have changed dramatically. With the advent of Homeland Security grants and other special requirements, more law enforcement agencies are now tasking their aircrews to perform SAR duties as well.

It wasn’t too many years ago that most helicopter operators in the US conducting EMS operations would hire a pilot, then in company training validate that pilot to commercial standards per the Federal Aviation Regulations, and quickly send him to a field base to conduct EMS operations for a customer without so much as telling him what the EMS mission he was about to perform was all about. It wasn’t a FAA requirement to train to the mission, but it was a requirement to train the pilot to operate the aircraft safely while conducting the mission, whatever that mission might be. That is where a major problem lied and many operators didn’t realize it was an issue that needed to be dealt with.

Written & Video Feature: Advanced Helicopter Training with FlightSafety International 

By Lyn Burks - Having been in the helicopter industry for a little while, I have been fortunate enough to experience many levels of training. While recently attending an S76C++ transition course at FlightSafety International (FlightSafety), I am reminded of the stark differences between the "haves" and the "have nots."

My reference to "haves" and "have nots" is not meant to be deprecating to those who offer or attend helicopter training at traditional facilities. It’s really more of an analogy which notes the difference in the level of training provided by FlightSafety as compared to other training providers I have experienced. The present model of our training industry is what it is, and this article will not change it.



If you haven’t heard of WAAS or Wide Area Augmentation System, it’s, probably fair to say you have been living in a cave. After all, the FAA “certified” WAAS in 2003. Or if you have heard of WAAS but don’t know the in’s and out’s because of the intimidation of learning something new - fear no more!

The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) plan to modernize the National Airspace System (NAS) through 2025. Through NextGen, the FAA is addressing the impact of air traffic growth by increasing NAS capacity and efficiency while simultaneously improving safety, reducing environmental impacts, and increasing user access to the NAS. To achieve its NextGen goals, the FAA is implementing new Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) routes and procedures that leverage emerging technologies and aircraft navigation capabilities.

For those law enforcement agencies that operate in cold weather environments, winter adds dangers we must consider before launching.

Winter brings a combination of high moisture content and cold temperatures that pose a threat of engine, airframe, and blade icing. During day and night operations, snow and ice become significant threats in many ways.

In November of 2008, a helicopter flight training school in Broomfield, Colorado, received their part 141 Certification, a designation earned through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The process of writing a standardized curriculum, training the Certified Flight Instructors (CFIs), and upgrading classroom facilities was rigorous, but the owners and instructors at this school were convinced that the benefits they would receive through certification would far out-weigh the heavy workload necessary to get there. They anticipated that their students would qualify for career training loans at a variety of banks and lending institutions, that the State of Colorado would allow access to training grants and loans available, and that ultimately federal grants and loans would be available to students who qualify through the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1956.

It didn’t take long for those beliefs to be shattered.

The Life of a Test Pilot by SHAWN COYLE

Test Pilot Background

The first thing that has to be made clear is that Test Pilot refers to Research and Development, Certification or Engineering flight testing. The US Army has a course they call the Test Pilot course, but it should be more properly called the 'Post Maintenance Check Pilot (PMCF) course. The two are completely different.

Otto Rowe-Tate's Excellent Aeronautical Library by Otto Rowe-Tate

From time to time questions are posted in the forum here at Just Helicopters that deal with aerodynamics, performance, or some other technical aspect of helicopters. While I enjoy answering them, as I am sure others do as well, we sometimes end up spoon feeding our youth – something which I have been chided for, and perhaps rightly so at times. Simply admonishing someone to look something up for themselves can, however, be useless advice. While there are plenty of sources of information out there, people just entering into aviation (and some who have been at it a while) may not be aware of them. With that in mind, I have compiled a list of books and internet sites that both beginning and experienced pilots will find helpful.

By Paul Huston - A story written by a female heli pilot when she received her CFI license.

I am a certified flight instructor! Believe me it feels fabulous!

The ground started at about 9:00am. There were lots of questions about endorsements, training techniques and some really tough aerodynamics. I had a moment of panic when my brain checked out for a few minutes and I misinterpreted an airspace requirement. I took a minute to collect my thoughts and then told the examiner that I had answered the question completely wrong. He agreed wholeheartedly, which didn't make me feel much better but the brain kicked on again and I had the correct answer. Then after about two and a half hours of oral questioning I presented a ground lesson to five other students. Two of the students were fixed wing students so they asked great questions ...

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